How do you sum up this week? I am not even sure where to begin.
To see God moving.....to think you know where he is taking you........and then out of no where (well not really no where...but unexpectedly) he changes the direction.
And to look back over the past 6 months and see him knitting together an amazing plan in her perfect way.
And to look forward to changes, good and difficult, and to be excited about it all.
Well that is just the tip of the iceberg of my week.
Monday was the day Robert was officially employed, and while we were absolutely thrilled to be ending this journey and beginning the next, we were not expecting that Dr. Pepper would be THE job. So that took some time processing it all, and readjusting my thinking.
Then Tuesday Robert flew almost all day. He caught an earlier flight to fly into DFW standby - but then was re-routed, and eventually landed in Dallas about 3 hours after he was initially scheduled to. So we each drove up to Oklahoma City to meet up with my mom and Louie (her husband). We got checked in to our hotel and just enjoyed some time visiting.
We enjoyed a fun day on Wednesday at the Children's Science museum with the gang - the kids loved it - of course!! For lunch we tried to hit a Diner, Drive-in and Dive from the food channel, but the site we chose did not appear open. So instead we headed to a place called Mamma E's - Waffles & Wings. It was soul food and it was lots of fun! The kids were able to tryout Neck Bones thanks to Louie choosing those. My mom opted for the Wings and Waffles. Robert and I went for the soul food and enjoyed our food! It was really a little dive - writing on the walls, but super friendly cooks and servers! So there is another of the Triple D stops for us (that makes 3 this summer).
Wednesday night we were able to meet Jim's friend (girl-friend) at our hotel. She trekked over with her aunt and her son. Sylvia is from Italy - like really from Italy. And her aunt is as well. So it was fun to talk with them about just about everything from Jim, visiting him, and even some about Italian food! Noah (Sylvia's son) entertained the boys and he seemed to enjoy that too!
Thursday was Jim's parole hearing, so my mom and Louie headed to the prison to speak for Jim during his hearing. They also requested a meeting with his counselor while they were there. Jim was granted parole - which we were thrilled to hear. So that was a great way to start this day. Robert and I took the kids back to the science museum to see more of the stations. Then we met for lunch and this time we chose a more healthier route and did Souper Salad. After that we headed out to do some shopping - books, boots, clothes, and I am sure some other good stuff.
Friday was good too. We headed to Bricktown in Oklahoma City - we played in the Bass Pro Shop - what kid does not love that place!? We had a great lunch at Toby Keith's - not his home, but his bar & grill. Great meal! After that we opted to walk along their canal or river walk. It was getting beautiful out and it was great to let the kids run and play while we walked along.
Finally today I was able to go with my mom and Louie to see Jim - we think it has been about 18 years since we have seen each other. This was a new experience for me with regards to prison, I have never been there to see anyone. But it was just really fun to see Jim, to see how great he looks, how little he has changed, and to just catch up! The prison part was not so bad, the visiting was well worth the weirdness of the location! So now, Robert is at the prison meeting Jim for the first time, and getting to know him a little bit. Then we are off to some great BBQ tonight at Rudy's one of our favorites!
So while all this is going on my mind is trying to take it all in. I continue to be amazed at how God is working in my life, reuniting me with Jim after so many years. Allowing me now a third opportunity to be with my mom and get to know her more and more. I have claimed the verse from Joel so many times for God restoring the time the locusts have eaten away. And this time is another of those times when God is restoring so much! He has restored so much time in my family - when Robert was away from us when Peter was born (before the actual birth and after) and now with regard to the many years I have been apart from my mom and my brother.
There are still many things on the horizon that are going to be difficult. There are challenges with regards to Jim's release (specifically an intrastate agreement so he can go to Oregon). Challenges for us - finding a house, church and getting settled in at Dr Pepper for Robert. But we are really excited and feel so blessed. God continues to bless us and be so good to us. We have not gotten everything we hoped for during this time in our lives, but he sure is blessing us in so many ways!
And thank you to all who are praying for our family - you are really a blessing to us!